Archive of ‘Seafood’ category

Southwest Dinner Salad

Valentine’s Day, 2010. My husband (then-boyfriend) and I were attempting to not make a huge deal out of it. And by “not trying to make a huge deal out of it,” I mean that Ross made reservations for us at one of those places where you get a five star dinner while watching a show but didn’t realize until about an hour before we were supposed to leave that the place was in San Antonio (we were in Georgetown at the time). Oops. So we ran out to dinner to a place down the road and that was that.

Southwest Salad

And I got a “Santa Fe Salad.” Funny what you remember.

Anyway, I guess it was good since this salad a part of our dinner rotation ever since. I mean, the date was good, too. Obviously. During the hard-core Paleo years, we just nixed the cheese and corn and used sliced almonds instead of tortilla strips and it was still amazing. So this is totally kosher for clean eaters. Promise.

Southwest Salad 1

My favorite protein to use for this salad is grilled chicken, but salmon (or any other fish) is really great, too. When entertaining, I’ve even made a side salad version…just a tiny one without the protein. As for dressing, you can use anything you want–the original had what was basically a spicy ranch–but I loveLOVElove this avocado dressing with a little cayenne on top.

Here’s a good tutorial for roasting your peppers.

Southwest Dinner Salad
Prep time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 1 head Romaine lettuce
  • 1-2 lbs of grilled chicken or fish, can be hot or cold
  • 2-3 roasted red bell peppers, sliced (see recommendation above)
  • 2 heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large red onion, sliced
  • 1 (14 oz) can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 avocados, pitted and sliced
  • 1 c grated cheddar and jack cheese
  • a few handfuls of corn tortilla chips, crushed
  • dressing of choice (see recommendation above)
Instructions
  1. Make a nice big bed of romaine in a large bowl or on individual plates. I made 5 salads with this recipe, if that helps.
  2. Arrange the ingredients on top of the lettuce, saving the cheese and chips for garnish.
  3. Dress and serve!

 

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Quicker, Lighter Fish and Chips

If you know me at all, you know I really don’t care about making sure my recipes are “light” or “healthy” or “skinny” or whatever.  The Paleo/Primal way of eating, by definition, is a hell of a lot better than the Standard American Diet, and I’ve found that just avoiding crappy ingredients makes a world of difference–even when you’re making comfort food.  Fish and Chips happens to be one of my all time favorite comfort foods, so I got some tilapia and some sweet potatoes, was all set to make up a nice batter and fry everything up in some coconut oil, and then…I just pooped out.  I’m mid-move, you guys.  I’m tired.  I’m cranky.  I just wanted dinner on the table when Ross came home and was NOT in the mood for anything requiring any cranial activity.

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So, here’s what I did…I made sweet potato fries like I always do, except with some vinegar because that’s how they always give them to you when the whole mess is served out of a truck wrapped in newspaper.  Then I took the fish, threw them on a baking sheet, and seasoned the heck out of them with all the flavors that you’d expect from the fried variety.  Think lemon, thyme, a little oregano, garlic, and (obviously) salt.  I know every recipe varies the batter a little bit but I really tried to capture what I would say (in my own experience) is the quintessential fish and chips experience.  And it definitely did not disappoint.  But I was tired, so maybe I’m just full of it.  Either way, the whole thing took 30 minutes, most of it spent racked on the couch, so I’ll call that a win.

Quicker, Lighter Fish and Chips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 T apple cider vinegar
  • 2 T olive oil
  • salt
  • 2 tilapia or cod filets
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t garlic powder
  • 1 t onion powder
  • 1 T salt
  • 1/2 lemon
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut your potatoes up into fries. Place them in a mixing bowl with the vinegar, oil, and salt and mix them up really well.
  3. Spread on a baking sheet and place in the oven for 30 minutes
  4. Place your filets on a baking sheet.
  5. Mix up all the seasonings and sprinkle over the tilapia filets.
  6. Squeeze the juice of the lemon over the filets.
  7. After the sweet potatoes have been cooking for 15 minutes, place the tray of fish into the oven with them. Bake 15 minutes more.

 

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Maryland Crab Cakes

I think I can safely label these little guys “Maryland” crab cakes because, a) I live here, and b) my mom grew up in Baltimore and gave them the seal of approval.

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Nothing worse than a crab cake that’s pretty much all bread, and the best cakes in town are just how they ought to be…patties made of, um, crab…and not a whole lot else to get in the way.  Should be intuitive, I know, but…well, you know.

It’s borderline criminal that I haven’t posted in so long.  School’s finally out for summer, though, and I can prioritize the blog again since every meal won’t be from the crockpot (or Chipotle).  I’ll catch everyone up on the deets over the next few weeks.  As per usual in my household, there are a lot of moving pieces at the moment (and another move).  Both Ross and I have had exciting news in our respective professional lives but we won’t really know what’s happening big-picture wise until June, so while I can say we ARE re-locating later this summer , I still can’t say WHERE or WHAT either of will be doing with any certainty.  Gotta love it.  What I CAN say is that I’m ready to be settled, and I’m ready for a kitchen that’s bigger than my closet.

Maryland Crab Cakes
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 lb lump blue crab meat
  • 1 stalk celery, finely diced
  • 2 green onions (scallions), finely chopped
  • 1 t dry mustard
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 T arrowroot powder or tapioca starch
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • 1 T Old Bay
  • Melted Butter
  • Lemon Wedges
Instructions
  1. Whisk the arrowroot powder and egg together to form a runny paste.
  2. Combine all ingredients except the melted butter and lemon in a large bowl, with the egg paste, and combine GENTLY with your hands.
  3. DO NOT overmix!
  4. Using handfuls of the crab mixture, form your crab cakes (mine were kinda between golf-ball and tennis-ball sized). Lay them on a parchment lined baking sheet.
  5. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes.
  6. Serve with melted butter and lemon wedges as garnish.

 

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Spicy Ginger Pan-Seared Salmon

So…guess what I just did?  No, you’re not hallucinating (although maybe I am)…I’m doing a figure competition.  In an attempt to avoid losing any more readership than I already have after dropping this ball on the world, I started a new blog to document my experience–I’m still Paleo but I’m changing up the structure of my meals and my workouts quite a bit.  I’m already a week into it and frankly I’m impressed my marriage has survived this much of the madness…Go ahead, get your digs in now…

OK moving on.  Like 95% of the diet my first week of competition prep was salmon and sweet potatoes.  Or sweet potatoes and salmon.  God, 12 weeks of this is gonna get old.  Anyhow, in an attempt to make the whole thing less boring I’ve been throwing all kinds of seasonings together with all of the “safe sauces” I own–coconut aminos, fish sauce, lemon/lime juices, mustard, vinegar, you name it.  And go figure, a few of them have been nastified on par with raw sewage.  Fish sauce and mustard do NOT belong together, just sayin’.  BUT I did hit on this little gem of a combo last night and figured, what the hell, I haven’t been cooking much for the blog since the Vegan Series…let’s share a Paleo Bodybuilding Recipe that doesn’t taste like paper.

INGREDIENTS

6 oz Salmon

2 t Coconut Oil

2 t Coconut Aminos

2 t Fresh Grated Ginger

1/4 t Cayenne Pepper

1/4 t Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

Pat the salmon dry with paper towels.  Brush each side with the coconut oil and sprinkle with the seasonings.

Sear over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes on each side.

If you’re trying to lean out, serve with steamed veggies.  If you’re a normal person, serve with something delicious.

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Salmon Tarts

OMG OMG OMG.

GAME OF THRONES COOKBOOK!!

As soon as I found out that such a thing, indeed, was possible I had it on pre-order.  AND.  IT’S.  HERE!!!

And yeah, the whole thing is pretty Geek-a-Licious.  I spent a soild hour and a half just perusing the intro and reading all the regional descriptions and double checking everything on my handy dandy map of Westeros.  Do not judge me…I have a thing, OK?!

THEN I started getting into the recipes themselves.  I love how almost every recipe comes in two parts–a medieval version and a modern version.  There’s some wacky stuff (pidgeon pie…that calls for pidgeons) but also some recipes I’d be proud to serve to a crown (honey roasted chicken with currants…holy crap I almost ate the photo).

So last night was originally a leftovers night–with said leftovers being the remnants of a baked salmon fillet–but I was dying…DYING!…to try something out.  Needless to say there isn’t much that’s Paleo but thankfully medieval recipes are pretty un-complicated and all I had to do was get creative with some substitutions.

I honed in on the Fish Tarts because, well, I had fish in the house that needed to be eaten.  Plus anything in tart or pie form is delicious. Which is reason number 5734875345785 that I love this book, because those Song of Ice and Fire folks ate a lot of stuff in pie or tart form.  I had to find a Paleo-friendly pastry dough, which I did over at The Nutty Kitchen (only change I made was not adding shredded coconut and nixing the honey)…side note-BEST Paleo pie crust I’ve ever had.  Seriously…OMG.  Plus I got to use my brand new tart pan!  Thanks Mike & Missy!!

The original recipe also calls for dates and figs to be added to the tarts, but I nixed those thanks to the 21DSD.  I’d also note that tart pans come in all shapes and sizes, so monitor the cooking time a bit depending on the difference.  The pan I used has four, 4-inch tarts.  What I ended up with was a pretty simple recipe but damn if it wasn’t delicious.  Kinda like fancy-schmancy-grown-up comfort food!

INGREDIENTS

Crust (adapted from the Nutty Kitchen):

1/4 c Butter, softened

2 T Coconut Oil, softened

1 c Coconut flour

3 Eggs, beaten

1/4 t Salt

1 T Cold Water

Filling:

1 lb Salmon, cooked and flaked

1/2 Onion, diced fine

1 Egg

2 T Fresh chives, chopped

1/2 t Paprika

Salt and Pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

For the crust…

Whisk the dry ingredients together.  To this, add the butter and oil and with either a fork or food processor, mix until you have a coarse meal.  Add the eggs and water and knead until you have a smooth ball of dough (it will be a little more crumbly than wheat-based pie crusts).  Press into tart molds.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, or until a light golden brown.

For the filling and assembly…

Combine the salmon, egg, and seasonings.  When the crusts are done baking, remove from the oven.  Spoon the filling evenly among the tart shells.

Return to the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

Enjoy!

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