Saturday, August 22, 2015

Skinny Off the Cob Mexican Street Corn

Have you ever had Mexican street corn?  It's very tasty, cheesy, and messy.  However, one thing it is not is healthy.  It's full of mayonnaise and cheese.  This version is lightened up with Greek yogurt and made a little less messy by going off the cob- it's still packed with flavor though!


Do you see all the cheesy gooeyness?  I promise it's good for you!



I served this with Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon for a low carb meal!


Skinny Off the Cob Mexican Street Corn

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. butter (I used Smart Balance)
1 12 oz. package frozen corn
1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1/4 cup cotija or feta cheese
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Melt butter.  Once butter is melted, add package of corn.  Saute until cooked through and the liquid is evaporated.
While corn is cooking, combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl.
Add corn to Greek yogurt mixture.
Combine.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Double Dipped Life

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

I love salmon.  I could live everyday on salmon, with an occasional steak thrown in.  After coming back from New Mexico, I have had a craving for fish, as evidenced by my fish tacos... I have also had crab cakes and I even had crab cake eggs benedict for brunch today, I can't get enough!  Perhaps it's because being in the desert for a month has left me with a hankering for it.  Perhaps it's because salmon was super on sale today.  Whatever the reason, this salmon was yummy!
The best thing about this spice rub (besides the fact that it's yummy!) is that because it's equal parts of everything, it's easy to half to make a dinner for one, or double for a dinner for four!

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

Mexican Spice Crusted Salmon

Ingredients:
2 salmon filets
1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. black pepper
Avocado (optional)
Pickled Onions (optional)

Preparation:
Combine salt, coriander, cumin, paprika, onion powder, and pepper in a small bowl.  Pat on the outside of the salmon.  Keep in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Take salmon out of fridge.
Heat a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add oil.
When oil is hot, add salmon.
Cook skin side down (if you filets have skin) for 4 minutes.  Flip and cook an additional 4 minutes.
Top with avocado and pickled onion, if you wish!
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Laylita's Recipes

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Sauce and Pickled Onions

These tacos are amazing.  My only complaint is that because Matt is still in Santa Fe and Alyssa doesn't eat fish, I only made one piece... I wish I had more.  I even thought about just wrapping up the sauce and some pickled onions in a tortilla and eating that.  (I didn't.)
These tacos tasted like the ones you get at a restaurant, but healthier because I didn't fry the fish, trust me, it doesn't need to be fried.
Also, I now know why restaurants normally double up the corn tortillas... mine crumbled up, but I just grabbed a fork and ate them up.
I'm planning on crab cakes tomorrow and am stoked to top them with the leftover sauce and onions!

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Sauce and Pickled Onions

Fish Tacos

For the Pickled Onions:
1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove gaarlic
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup sugar
1 Tbsp. kosher salt

Add sliced onions to a medium bowl. Pour enough boiling water over onions so that they are covered. Count to 10, then drain.
Toast cinnamon, cloves and the red pepper flakes in a small saucepan over medium heat until fragrant, 3 to 5 minutes.
Whisk in vinegar, lime juice, a 1/4 cup of the sugar and salt. Bring to a simmer and cook until sugar and salt have dissolved, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour brine over onions.
Allow to stand at room temperature until cooled, cover and refrigerate up to 2 weeks.

For the Cilantro Sauce:
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup mayo
½ tsp lime (I used lemon because I used all the lime for the onions, so actually, either is fine)
1 handful of cilantro..I like a lot, I usually add more than a handfull
1 Tbsp. onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder

Combine all ingredients in a blender or small food processor. Blend until creamy, cilantro won't really blend, but that's okay!.  Transfer to the fridge for at least 1 hour before serving (this part is necessary for the ingredients to really shine!) Enjoy!

For the Fish Tacos

2 4 oz. mahi mahi filets
2 Tbsp. butter
4 corn tortillas (or 8 if you want to double up)
4 leaves red leaf lettuce
Salt, pepper, and cumin to taste
Cilantro Sauce, above
Pickled Onions, above
Cilantro, to taste

Place nonstick pan over medium heat.  Add butter and allow to melt.
Meanwhile, cut filets in half (it's easier to fit in tortillas), season both sides with cumin, salt, and pepper, to taste.
Place fish in pan, cook both sides about 4 minutes, depending on thickness of fish.
While fish is cooking, heat up tortillas; I like to do mine over the burner for a few seconds, but if you have an electric stove do it in the microwave!
Assemble fish tacos with lettuce on the bottom, add fish, then top with a dollop of cilantro sauce and some pickled onions.  Add cilantro, if you would like!
Enjoy!

Recipe for pickled onions adapted from Adam and Joanne at Inspired Taste
Recipe for Cilantro sauce adapted from Sherron at Simply Gourmet

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Black Beans and Rice

I'm about to go back to Philly, so this is my last post from Santa Fe :(  Also, Matt is staying (because it's his job!) for an extra week and a half so I figured instead of him eating cereal every night for dinner, I would make him a few meals.  Ziti happened because I was trying to use up a bunch of things in the fridge and I also made him these black beans and rice.
Going into my cooking, I was more excited for the ziti, but after tasting these, they are so good.  You could use them as a side for simple grilled chicken, or use them as a filling in tacos. They could also be a main dish with a salad on the side for a light summer meal!
These are also super easy to make vegetarian/vegan, just use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock and you are done!

Black Beans and Rice


Black Beans and Rice

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup basmati rice (or you can use regular white rice)
2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian/vegan version)
3/4 tsp. taco seasoning
2 cups black beans

Preparation:
In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.
Add onion, and sauté 3 minutes, until onion is tender. Add pepper and garlic, sauté one minute longer.
Add uncooked rice, and stir, toasting it for about 2 minutes. .
Add stock and taco seasoning. Stir together, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer, according to rice package directions, usually 15-20 minutes.
Remove lid, stir in beans, and cover again. Turn off heat, and let stand for 3 minutes before serving.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Andi at The Weary Chef

Friday, August 7, 2015

Mango Salsa

Mango salsa screams summer.  Fresh flavors, plus being in New Mexico, it seemed like a no brainer.  I made this as an appetizer for dinner with a few friends, but then ended up putting it on the turkey burgers I made.  (It was also good on some bean and cheese tacos I had for lunch the next day).  This salsa is super easy and the flavors speak for themselves.

Mango Salsa


Mango Salsa

Ingredients:
2 ripe mangoes, peeled, pitted and diced (about 3 cups)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, loosely packed
1 lime, juiced
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Season lightly with salt, to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Pork Florentine

Pork Florentine sounds very fancy, looks very fancy, but is not that hard to make, my favorite!  Plus it's healthy because of the spinach... right?  (Definitely not, but that's okay).
The great thing about florentine is that you can florentine just about anything... don't eat pork?  No problem!  You can make chicken florentine or salmon florentine or tofu florentine!  (I haven't tried that one, so let me know how it goes!)  The florentine sauce is super yummy and a great splurge for a chilly fall night.

Pork Florentine


Pork Florentine

Ingredients:
10 oz of baby spinach leaves, chopped into large pieces
1 lb of thinly sliced boneless pork chops (about 4 to 5 chops)
4 tablespoons of flour, divided
½ of a white onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of chicken broth
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of grated Parmesan
Salt and pepper, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste
3 Tbsp. Olive oil

Preparation:
In a large skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the spinach and saute until wilted. Lightly season with salt, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Season the pork chops with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
Place 2 tablespoons of flour in a shallow bowl and lightly dredge the chops, shaking off any excess flour. Add another tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and cook until brown on both sides and completely cooked through. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil.
Add a tablespoon of oil to the skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and the remaining 2 tablespoons of flour and cook until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
Slowly add the chicken broth and heavy cream, stirring constantly. Season to taste with salt and pepper and let simmer until sauce thickens. (This happened for me in about 2 minutes).
Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the spinach and Parmesan.
Plate the chops, top with the spinach cream sauce and eat.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Egg Me On

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Matt has had several vegetarian dinners lately and has not complained once... I'm not sure what is going on, but I'm here to ride that train!  I made vegan black bean tacos tonight and they were great! They were even better when topped with my super easy salsa verde!

Vegan Black Bean Tacos


Vegan Black Bean Tacos

Ingredients:
1 tsp. vegetable oil
2 cups black beans (1 can is good too, rinsed and drained)
1 small zucchini, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 corn (GF) or flour tortillas
Optional for Serving: diced tomatoes, cilantro, salsa verde

Preparation:
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat.
Add black beans and onion.
Cook until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.
Add zucchini, bell pepper, garlic.
Saute until zucchini is soft, but not mushy.
Meanwhile, heat tortillas in microwave under a damp paper towel for 30 seconds.
Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer a scoop of bean mixture into a warmed tortilla.
Top with desired toppings.
Enjoy!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Salsa Verde

Here in New Mexico, there is an abundance of fresh veggies that I would normally not have an abundance of in Philly... not that they're not there, but they're hella expensive.  (I'm not sure if I've ever said "hella" before, but it's happening now I guess!)  Tomatillos are super cheap. Cilantro is super cheap. Okay, that's it because everything else in this salsa is about the same cost wise, but the tomatillos were like $2.00/lb. cheaper!

This salsa was great on my vegan tacos, but was also great with tortilla chips!

Salsa Verde


Salsa Verde

Ingredients:
1 tsp. olive oil
1 1/2 lb. tomatillos, husks removed
1 poblano pepper, stem cut off
1/2 small white onion
2 cloves garlic
1/2 cup cilantro
1 Tbsp. lime juice
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
Heat oil over high heat in a large skillet.  Add tomatillos, poblano, and onion.
Saute on high, flipping after about 2 minutes.  (They should be nice and charred).
Transfer to a blender or food processor.  Add garlic, cilantro, and lime juice.  Blend until combined. (You may have to transfer tomatillos in batches, I did!)
Salt to taste.
Chill in refrigerator.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Chef Savvy

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Sweet potatoes are the best.  Growing up, we basically only had them doused with butter and brown sugar and marshmallows (Thanks, Dad!), but now I cook them in all sorts of forms.  In curry? Check. As fries? Check. The filling for tacos? Check. And now since I found this lovely recipe, as mashed potatoes? Check.  These potatoes are less sweet than normal because of the garlic, but equally delicious!  Serve with pork schnitzel for a complete meal!

Sweet Potato Mash

After looking again at this recipe, I halved it, but realized upon re-typing it that I did not half the milk or Greek yogurt.  Mystery solved as to why they were a little extra liquid-y.  I have made these before and they came out perfect, here I was blaming my ineptitude on the altitude!  Whoops!

Garlic Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:
1 lb. (2 medium) sweet potatoes, cubed
1/2 tbsp butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup milk
1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt
salt and fresh cracked ground pepper, to taste

Directions:

In a large pot boil sweet potatoes in salted water until tender, (easily pierced with a fork).
Drain in a colander.
Meanwhile, melt butter and sauté garlic until lightly golden. Return potatoes to the pan, add milk and sour cream. Mash until smooth. (I have used both a potato masher and some forks in this recipe, both work well, it's up to you!)
Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Gina at Skinny Taste

Pork Schnitzel

If you're like me and did not grow up in a German household, your only interaction with "schnitzel" probably came from The Sound of Music, "... doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles..."  However, I came across this recipe recently and thought I should try it; good thing because it's delicious!  I served mine with garlic sweet potato mash and a caprese salad.  Yum!

Pork Schnitzel

Pork Schnitzel

Ingredients:
5 boneless pork chops, thinly sliced
2 large eggs
1 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs, I used Panko
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil for frying

Preparation:
Preheat oven to lowest setting.
Heat the oil in a large skillet on medium high heat.  (I used about 1/4 cup in total).
Place the flour, egg, and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow bowls. Dip the chops in the flour, the egg, and then bread crumbs, coating both sides and shaking off excess at each step.
Make sure the cooking oil is hot enough at this point.
Fry the schnitzels for about 3-5 minutes on both sides until a deep golden brown. Transfer briefly to an oven safe plate.  I had to do mine in batches, so I kept the extra in the oven.
Repeat until all the pork is done.
Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Jo Cooks