Lunch, Sides

Saffron Quinoa with Black Beans and Sage Roasted Butternut Squash

Ingredients:

1 cup tri-colored quinoa, rinsed

2 cups low sodium chicken broth

1 pinch of saffron

1 can of black beans

3 cups of cubed butternut squash

2 tsp of dry sage

1 tsp of chilli powder

2 tbsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Add rinsed quinoa to chicken broth and saffron and pinch of salt.  Cook quinoa.

Once quinoa is cooked, add rinsed black beans.

In the mean time toss squash in olive oil, salt, pepper, sage and chilli powder and spread on a cookie sheet

Roast at 400F for 20mins, till cooked through and golden.

Toss squash with quinoa and black beans and garnish with chopped scallions.

Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch

Frittata of Ham, Mushrooms and Roasted Red Peppers

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Happy New Year ! With the holidays behind us, I am sure we all trying to eat a little better–however, our fridge is probably still full of leftovers.  Ham and eggs are sure to found in the fridge or positively on sale at the market.  With help a jar of store bought marinated mushrooms and peppers you can whip up this super healthy, speedy meal suitable for breakfast, brunch or lunch.

Ingredients:

16 oz of liquid egg whites

1 jar of marinated mushrooms and roasted red peppers

1 ham steak, cubed

1/2 tbsp of dried parsley

1 tsp of olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Saute the cubed ham steak in oil till brown in a oven proof skillet

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Add the jar of peppers and mushrooms and sauté till most of the liquid is drained.

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Add the eggs, parsley, salt and pepper and finish the dish by baking in the oven, for 25-30 mins or till the eggs are set.

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Serve hot or room temperature !

 

Brunch, Lunch, Quick Dinner

Spinach and Roasted Red Pepper Hash

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So I am back to my regular routine of working in the lab.  Which means, I need to start making lunches and dinners ahead of time.  This recipe a healthy take on a classic hash….no potatoes, no oil, no bacon–but packed with flavor ! Here goes !

Ingredients:

1, 16oz bag of frozen chopped spinach

1 jar of roasted red peppers ( choose your own size based on how much peppers your want)

6 eggs

1/2 tsp of nutmeg

1 tsp of crushed red pepper

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Preheat oven to 350F

Sauté spinach, sliced peppers and seasonings till everything has wilted.

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Crack the eggs directly into the pan and transfer then pan to the oven.

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Bake for 10-15mins till the eggs set.  This also based on personal preference.  Some people like their yolks runny and some like them set.  So adjust your back time according.

Serve family style–for brunch, lunch or dinner.  Crusty bread and a light fruit salad would complete the meal !

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Classics, Dinner, Fish & Seafood, Lunch

Tarragon Tilapia in Lemon-Caper White Wine sauce

A light delicious fish entrée, simple enough for a quick-lunch yet elegant enough to be the star of a dinner party.  Serve it family style with a side of rice or plate it up with a fresh salad–this is a sure shot hit !

Ingredients:

1 lb of Tilapia

1 medium-sized lemon

1 Tbsp of drained capers

1/2 Tbsp of Tarragon

Salt and Pepper to taste

A splash of good white wine, use what you would drink-ALWAYS

Method:

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray a baking pan ( use one where the fillets will fit nicely) with cooking spray arrange the fillets.

Season liberally with sal and pepper.  Add lemon zest, tarragon and sprinkle the capers.

Arrange a few lemon slices over the fish and add a splash of white wine, just enough to cover the bottom of the pan, DO NOT submerge the fillets  in it.

Bake for about 15 min till the fish is cooked through and then broil for a the last 2 min to give the fillets a light golden brown crust.

Serve warm with your choice of side.

Salad

Tuna and White Bean Salad

I read this recipe in the New York Times back in 2009 and I have been making this salad on a regular basis.  It is perfect for lunch and can be eaten cold or at room temperature.  As usual, I made some changes to suit my personal taste.

Ingredients:

4, 8oz cans of tuna (packed in oil, packed in water will do too)

2, 15.5 oz cans of Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 Tbsp of dried parsley

1 tsp of ground sage

1/2 Tbsp of red wine vinegar

salt and fresh cracked black pepper (to taste)

Method:

1. Rinse and drain the beans.

2. Drain a little bit of the oil and then add the tuna in a bowl and flake the fish with a fork.

3. Add the beans and toss in the herbs and vinegar

4. Season with salt and pepper.

5.  You can add this salad wo spinach or arugula–these salad greens have a personality of their own and can stand up to the tuna.

Note: the original  recipe called for chopped red onion, but since I am taking the salad to work, I thought I would do my lab mates a favor and avoid the onion AND tuna breath, hahahaha!  Also, if you are using tuna packed in water then add a few tablespoons of olive oil.

I hope you like this light, protein packed and super healthy salad.

 

 

Salad

Spinach Salad with a Strawberry, Basil, Red Wine reduction

I bought 2 lbs of strawberries and living by myself you only eat so many berries before they start taking a turn for the worse.  My solution to salvage fruit/veggies that could get spoiled, is to cook them.  They retain their flavor, its healthy and you won’t have to throw out food.  This is a warm reduction that you add to fresh baby spinach.  It’s a warm salad.  Feel free to add almonds, bacon bits, and even more fresh fruit like apples and pears.  Here goes.

Ingredients:

1/2 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp of fennel seeds

I medium onion sliced

1/2 cup red wine (any red wine–I normally use up half opened bottles)

sliced strawberries ( I had about 1.5 cups, use as much as you like, but keep in mind the more you use, the sweeter the reduction)

5-7 leaves of  fresh basil, sliced

Fresh cracked black pepper ( no salt).

Baby Spinach, enough to build a salad of your serving choice.

Method:

1.Heat extra virgin olive oil in a pan and when warm, add the fennel.  Stir for a few secs till fragrant and then add onions

2. Saute onions till pale and then add red wine and allow to reduce, stirring in between to prevent sticking to the bottom

3.  Add sliced strawberries and basil and allow to reduce.  The strawberry will cook down and the sugars will allow the onions to carmelize.

4. Taste the reduction, if it is too sweet, you can counter-act the sweetness with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar.

5. Toss warm (not hot) reduction with baby spinach leaves and add freshly cracked black pepper.  I garnished with honeyed oats (granola would work too !!!)

 

Salad

South of the Border Salad

Remember those super fresh tomatoes that I got on sale and I made that fresh Tomato Basil Salad with??? Well, this is the second recipe with the grape tomatoes.  Extremely fresh but a very different flavor palette.  Hope you ya’ll like it.

Ingredients:

1 pint of grape tomatoes

1 can of corn (I really wish I found good fresh corn, but no luck)

1 tsp of cumin, oregano and garlic powder

1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper

1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

1.5 Tbsp of Lime juice.

Method:

Wait for it , wait for it……..mix the spices, oil and lime juice in a bowl.  Then add the sliced tomatoes and drained corn.  Toss and refrigerate overnight to allow for the flavors to marry.  Enjoy for lunch the next day ! It is that simple !

Note: Last year during the summer I added drained black beans and chopped green peppers and mixed it with pasta to make a Mexican style Pasta salad.  Go crazy with this ! It is a really versatile salad.  You can even add grilled chicken, hard boiled eggs or even bacon !!!!

Salad

Asparagus Egg Salad

I first read this recipe a few years ago in the New York Times.  I thought it was a little different but the ingredients were quite expensive.  I am not exactly in the position to add shaved truffles to my salad !  So this is my everyday adapted version of a what was once a very fancy salad.

Ingredients:

1 bunch of Asparagus cut into ~1/2 inch pieces

1 hard-boiled egg

1/2 Tbsp of drained capers

2 tsp of chopped parsley

Lemon juice ( please use as much as you like, I like my salads tart and lemony so I added as much as 1 Tbsp)

2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

Bring water to a boil in a small pot and add one large egg and boil for 15min till hard-boiled.  You could go a little shy of that if you prefer a soft and runny yolk–I don’t.

Meanwhile, cut asparagus and gently heat through in a pan with lemon juice and olive oil.

Chop parsley and capers together, the salt and tartness from the capers blend in with the oils of the leaves and makes for a great ‘gremolata’.

Add, the gremolata to the pan and heat through.  The idea is to heat the ingredients through and mix them–not fry them.

While the asparagus cools, chop the hard boil egg and add to asparagus.

Season with salt and pepper.

Enjoy !

Salad

Tomato Basil Salad

When fruits and vegetables are fresh and in season, keep it simple.  Let the natural taste shine through.  I got two pints of grape tomatoes and this is ont thing I love to do with them, a fresh salad.  It is so good that I had a WHOLE pint for lunch and did not want anything else.  I do have another pint in the fridge, let’s see if I want to do something else with it–I might just make the salad again simply because it was THAT GOOD !

Ingredients:

1 pint of grape tomatoes, sliced

6-7 leaves of fresh basil

1/2 tsp of extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp of balsamic vinegar

salt and pepper to taste.

Method

I mix the oil and vinegar and the sliced basil and set it aside for a while.  This gives the flavors a chance to mix and marry into one another.

in the meantime I slice the tomatoes

Add the tomatoes into the oil mixture and toss to coat

Season with salt and pepper.  I like to freshly cracked black pepper and I go heavy on it, just because I love the kick–please adjust to personal taste.

Enjoy !