Alaskan Salmon with Mustard Chive Yogurt Sauce

salmonyogurt

These past two months I have focused on eating clean and healthy as often as possible.  My healthy eating tends to be not as strict on the weekends, but I figure that is okay as long as I am focused on healthy eating during the week.  I also have been working out about 3 times per week.  The number on the scale doesn’t seem to want to budge.  It’s frustrating and I know I shouldn’t go by the scale, but I am human.

IMG_4455

Picking up a 4th work out day each week hopefully will help as well as learning a bit more about nutrition.  I recently finished reading the book Clean Green and Lean.  The book is a bit extreme with clearing out the toxins – no candles (combustion fumes), get rid of all carpet (ok I don’t have the funds for that project), no febreeze spray.  I mean some points in the doctor’s book were at bit extreme.  However, he definitely explains the benefits of eating certain foods organically and what foods to avoid entirely from your diet.

There’s a portion of the book that discusses fish and how farm raised salmon contains a lot of toxins.  I knew this from reading other articles and nutrition books, but this book had a lot more detail on the subject.  Although it is cheaper and bountiful, the benefits seem to be not worth it.  The night I finished the book I went to the store and stocked up on organic produce, Alaskan salmon and other organic goods for the week.  In a future post, I will what foods I always buy organically and what ones are clean enough to buy regular.

IMG_4454

I love this recipe for a simple weeknight meal and also when you aren’t interested in making a fuss in the kitchen.  The Mustard and Chive sauce is not cooked at all and the salmon is baked or grilled in under 10 minutes.  Prepare this simple meal on a hot night to avoid having to use much heat.  The oily, protein-rich salmon is complemented nicely with the creamy, slightly spicy, fresh lemon sauce.

Do you eat organically?  If so, what foods are your MUST eat organic?

salmon with mustard chive sauce

Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 8-10 minutes   |||   Servings: 4  |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients:
4 Alaskan salmon fillets
1 lemon
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp chives, chopped
1 Tbsp dijon mustard
1 tsp olive oil
pinch of cayenne
sea salt
black pepper

Directions:
1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees or grill to medium heat.
2.  Season the salmon with salt and pepper.
3.  Cut 1/2 of the lemon into thin slices and place on top of the salmon.
4.  Bake or grill for 7-10 minutes, depending on thickness.
5.  Meanwhile, in a bowl combine the yogurt, chives, juice of lemon, mustard, oil, salt, pepper, and cayenne.
6.  Once salmon is done, top with yogurt sauce and serve with a lemon wedge.

IMG_4462

Enjoy

signature

Easy Shrimp Tostadas

It’s been over a week since I logged into this bad boy.  I didn’t really have an agenda for this week’s menu and as you know if you have been following along for awhile, I tend to come and go from my blog from time to time.  There are 3 recipes that I have been dying to share so I want to take the time to get back at it.  Sometimes, life just gets in the way.  There has been a ton going on at work, some great things actually, that have required my undivided-extra-time-in-the-office-outside-of-work attention.  Possibly more on that to come at a later date.

IMG_4320

Anyways enough of that mumbo jumbo and onto this post because it does not disappoint!  I get a lot of food magazines and I never will stop getting the actual magazine.  I have gotten one on my Nook before, but I love tearing the magazine articles out and stashing them in my “to make” binder.  This binder has been around for quite some time so if you have lived with me before you’ve probably seen it.  I use these clippings as blog inspiration and that’s where this post comes into play.

The binder is expanding each week and so I been making a good effort to try out all the recipes I saved.  If you follow me on Instagram you probably saw my post a few weeks ago of the picture of the shrimp tostadas.  My binder is organized (somewhat) according to genre.  There are about 6-8 shrimp tostada recipes so I learned from those clippings to produce this one.  The main recipe is based off of a Cooking Light original.

IMG_4311

No time for dinner?  No problem.  This is yet another Dinner In Twenty recipe.  It actually can be prepared in less time than that if you make your toppings ahead of time too.  If you saw my post on Paige’s blog last week, you read that I like to try to incorporate Mexican into my weekly dinner routine.  We love the spicy, bold flavors of Mexican cuisine and they typically are quick to prepare.

One of my favorite components of this recipe is the Spicy Black Bean Salsa I posted on A Dose of Paige.  You will have to visit her website to get that portion, trust me it’s definitely not one you want to leave out!  The link is below.  I hope you enjoy this yummy and Not So Doughie recipe!

IMG_4325

easy shrimp tostadas

Recipe by:  Sara
Prep Time:  15 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 4-5 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients
8-10 (6 inch) corn tortillas
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled & deveined
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 avocado, diced
1 Roma tomato, small dice
1/2 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp Chipotle Chili Powder
Chipotle Black Bean Salsa
4
 oz queso fresca
chopped cilantro

Directions:
1.  On a baking sheet, toss the shrimp with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, salt and pepper.  Spread evenly and bake at 350 degrees for 4-5 minutes or until pink.
2.  In a bowl, combine the avocado, tomato, Greek yogurt, and lime juice.  Season with salt, pepper and chipotle seasoning.
3.  Lay out your corn tortilla and layer with the bean salsa, shrimp, avocado spread, cheese and chopped cilantro.
4.  Serve with a dash of hot sauce if preferred.

Enjoy!

IMG_4307

signature

Beef Enchilada Stuffed Peppers {Dinner in 20}

{low-carb Mexican}

IMG_4193

Working full time + an hour commute to & from work + squeezing in a work out makes dinner time a little challenging during the week.  Dinnertime at our house is no earlier than 7:30pm so senior citizens wouldn’t be too pleased.  However, it works for us and cooking is my favorite!

So many people ask me, why do you take the time to make such elaborate dinners at night.  In all seriousness, my dinners are not elaborate at all.  They typically are 30 minutes or less or made ahead of time.  Not to mention, it is my outlet, my passion and I love the satisfaction in pleasing Bryan & Chase when he’s with us.

Added bonus:  lunch the next day for me.  I typically make recipes for four servings.  Chase usually eats “half a serving” and Bryan will eat about 1.5 servings.  The remaining two go to me for dinner & lunch.  Bryan is always out and about during the day and he has some weird fear of certain leftovers.

Stuffed peppers are a frequent character on my dinner menu.  They also keep nicely for lunch the following day.  I have made original stuffed peppers, southwestern stuffed peppers, and peppers stuffed with quinoa.  Last week, I was going to make enchiladas, but I have been trying real hard to eliminate carbs from our dinners.  I decided to ditch the tortillas and stuff the insides of the enchiladas into a pepper.  Clever, huh?

I wasn’t going to blog this recipe, but I want to show my readers that dinnertime can be delicious yet quick.  So these pictures don’t really do the meal justice.  I served them with corn muffins {59 cent box} and a salad.  Dinner was ready and on the table at 7:45 and my family was able to set aside our busy schedules and spend time together.  Take the time to research some quick & easy dinners that your family can enjoy together.  Here are some by me:

Pad Thai Pork Tenderloin

Speedy Shrimp Scampi

Tilapia with Cilantro Pesto

In the meantime, I will be compiling a list of other Dinner in 20 meals to share on the blog!

beef enchilada stuffed peppers

Recipe by:  Sara
Prep Time:  5 minutes   |||   Cook TIme: 15 minutes   |||   Servings: 4   |||   Difficulty: Low

Ingredients
3-4 green peppers, cut in half length-wise
1 lb lean ground beef
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (15oz) can of red enchilada sauce [I used Old El Paso]
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
6 Tbsp sharp cheddar cheese
salt & pepper

Directions
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2.  Once boiling, add the peppers and submerge and boil for about 3 minutes.  Remove and place in a casserole dish.
3.  In a medium pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and saute about 4-5 minutes.
4.  Add garlic and saute 1 minute.  Remove onion and garlic from pan and set aside.
5.  Add meat and brown until still a bit pink.
6.  Add enchilada sauce and spices.
7.  Stir in cilantro.
8.  Spoon the meat mixture into the pepper shells and top with 1 Tbsp per pepper.
9.  Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly golden.
10.  Serve with hot sauce and sides.

IMG_4191_2Enjoy!

signature

Spaghetti with Kale Pesto

Hi everyone!  Happy Tuesday :)  My blogger friend, Becca at Two Places at Once contacted me to do a guest post on her blog while she is off getting married.  If you’ve been a frequent reader, you will remember that we did a swap back in February.  Blueberry Scones on this blog & Steamed Mussels on hers.  Of course, I didn’t pass up the opportunity to appear on her blog.

I love pesto, but my basil plant is not yet producing enough leaves so I put a spin on it & tried kale!  It was super delicious so head over to Two Places at Once to see my post & the recipe!

kalepestoNSD.jpg

signature

Grilled Mahi Mahi with Mango Curry Sauce

{food so nice, they named it twice}

mahmahi1.jpg

I am so glad that the weather is finally warm.  Although still not my optimal temperature, it has been really nice to soak up the vitamin d.  On Easter Sunday, my poor pale skin got fried.  We were outside at Bryan’s grandparents the whole day and I didn’t even think twice about my white skin seeing sun for the first time in forever.  Needless to say, I didn’t put sunscreen on and my chest and forearms decided to turn bright red.  Luckily, my wonderful coworker brought me a cute little aloe plant for my birthday that I was able to smear on my burn.

Anyways, moral of the story:  wear sunscreen.

Beautiful weather in my eyes means using the grill to whip up dinner.  I love when Bryan uses our charcoal grill because the flavor is absolutely delicious, but sometimes it is just easier to use the propane grill.  I still get a great grilled taste so it works for me.

While at the store deciding on dinner – which was going to just be grilled chicken – I came across some beautiful, very on sale pieces of Mahi Mahi.  I bought these two fillets for a total of $7.45.  I even went as far as asking the meat guy if there was a reason they were so cheap.  He said it was simply the deal of the day.  I didn’t want to buy them and learn the cost was so low due to being old or whatever.  However, they did not have an fishy odor so I suppose a deal it was!

IMG_3952So out went my idea for a simple grilled chicken dinner with a side of green beans.  My creative juices started to flow and I decided I would top the fish with a mango avocado salad.  However, when I got home as I fished through my cupboards I came across a can of coconut milk.  I changed my direction a little bit and opted to create a mango coconut sauce.  The sauce was very sweet so to balance the flavors I stirred in some curry powder and WOW it was delicious.

I am not the biggest fan of curry flavor, but I do like it in small doses.  This sauce is a perfect example of curry being utilized in a subtle, but bold way.  All of the different spices in the curry plus the sweetness of the mango complement each other nicely.  A sauce with sweet, spicy, and salty notes – what more could you want?

IMG_3957

I served the fish with a side of quinoa and some sauteed broccolini [will be posting this recipe soon].  The fish is very hearty and this healthy meal left me very satisfied.  So if the sun is shining in your neck of the woods, dust off your grill and throw on some fish.  This sauce can easily be used on any type of fish or even chicken breasts.

Grilled mahi Mahi with mango curry sauce

Recipe by: Sara
Prep Time:  10 minutes    |||     Grill Time:  9-12 minutes   |||    Servings:  4   |||   Difficulty Level:  Low

Ingredients:
4 pieces of Mahi Mahi
salt and pepper
1 mango, peeled and cut into pieces
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered [optional]

Directions:
1.  In a food processor combine mango, coconut milk, water, cilantro, and seasonings.  Pulse until smooth and season with salt and pepper.  Store in fridge until ready to serve.
2.  Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper.
3.  Heat grill to a medium flame.
4.  Place the fish on an angle,tops side down first.  Grill for 3-4 minutes.
5.  Turn a quarter and grill another 3 minutes.
6.  Flip the fillets and grilled 3-4 minutes or until just cooked through.
7.  Drizzle the sauce over the fish and top with cut tomatoes.

IMG_3964

Enjoy!

signature

#LoveYourLunch – Spinach Artichoke Pasta Salad

{what’s in your cupboard lunch}

spinartpasta

I can’t believe this is the 5th week of the Lunch Your Lunch series!  Cooking Like Lou & I were just going to post for 5 weeks, but I am in for it again next week too.

If you are new to the series, all the details are here in my first Love Your Lunch post.  I definitely started to become more creative when it has come to my lunches.  I really am loving my lunch too!  Sometimes, if the day is busy I tend to just eat at my computer.  However, I try to avoid this at all costs because it is important to get up, stretch, eat, and most importantly take my eyes away from the computer.  Having a yummy lunch makes it a more enjoyable break too.

IMG_3898

So I’d be lying behind these lines if I said this post was planned and I got the ingredients and everything was organized ahead of time.  Nope.  That is why the subtitle of the post is called the “what is in your cupboard lunch”.  This happens to us about 95% of the time, right?  Well, this recipe shows you that if you get a little creative and make lunch ahead of time you will Love. Your. Lunch.

I hadn’t been to the store and knew I needed to prepare my post for today so I dug through the pantry to see what I could throw together as my lunch.

The cast of the show:  leftover box of farfalle, a can of artichoke hearts, bag of spinach, parmesan cheese.

And the recipe was born.

IMG_3909

Pasta for lunch is not typically on my lunch menu.  However, a small amount with some healthy oil and some veggies won’t kill me.  I highly recommend preparing this dish the night before for a grab-and-go morning.  It is especially easy to make if you had pasta for dinner the night before.  Save a bit of whatever noodle you have and add the rest of the ingredients.

spinach & artichoke pasta salad
Recipe By:  Sara
Yields:  2   ///   Prep Time:  10 minutes   ///   Cook time:  10 minutes   ///   Serve:  Chilled

Ingredients:
4-6 oz pasta [I used bow ties]
3-4 artichoke hearts, quartered
1 handful fresh spinach
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt and pepper

Directions:
1.  Cook pasta according to directions and reserve about 1/4 cup of the cooking water.
2.  Add pasta back into the pot it was cooked in.
3.  Add spinach and artichokes.  Stir until spinach wilts.
4.  Stir in oil, vinegar, pasta water, cheese, and spices.
5.  Place in tupperware and store until the next day.
6.  Eat chilled or warmed in the microwave briefly if desired.

*This recipe made enough for two people so grab a lunch buddy & treat them #loveyourlunch style :)

love your lunch

Need some more lunch ideas?  Be sure to check out Cooking Like Lou & Two Places at Once have this week!

Enjoy!

signature

Strawberry Banana Flaxseed Smoothie

{the pretty smoothie}

flaxsmoothie

I have been really into smoothie-making again.  They are just so easy to prepare and the combinations are endless.  I started making individual bags of smoothie combinations and putting them in the freezer.  I portion each for 1 smoothie, freeze it, pop into the blender, add a liquid, blend, pour, go.  The whole time change caused me to wake up a bit later so they were quite handy for a morning breakfast.

IMG_3639For these two combinations, I did the following:

#1) 3 very thin lemon slices, 1/2 cup frozen peaches, 1 handful of kale
#2) Fresh strawberries, blueberries, cherries, a handful of kale

Have you ever tried the Naked brand “smoothie” blends?  I really like them and usually cut them in half with water.  However, they are pretty calorie packed so I try to just use them as meal replacements.  I started trying different blended juices at the store and really liked the Bolthouse blends.  I tried the Carrot and Mango one – it was just OK, but the Amazing Mango one was, well, amazing.  It also is pretty thick so I cut it with water again.  I only used 4oz of the juice and the rest water.

IMG_3592

I am featuring this smoothie as a “recipe” on today’ post because I used the little addition of flax seeds.  Now, I wish I had used ground flaxseeds to reduce the seediness if you will.  So if you have a grinder, grind those babies up.

IMG_3594

So what’s the deal with flaxseed?

These seeds aren’t new to our world, they have been around for millions of years.  Us smart humans are just now wrapping our head around the health benefits of them – some of which are listed below.

+ Omega 3 essential fatty acids — the good fat that keeps our ticker healthy
+ Fiber — keep things flowin’ and our digestive system clean
+ Lignans — an antioxidant that protects against cancer-causing agents

Flaxseeds are pretty tasteless in my opinion.  I tend to add them into smoothies or sometime sprinkle over a salad.  For 2Tbsp they have about 75 calories – not bad at all for the health benefits that they punch.  A large container will last you a while too so go grab one and start using this wonder seed.

strawberry mango banana flaxseed smoothie

Ingredients:
1/2 cup strawberries
1 frozen banana
1 Tbsp flaxseeds
4 oz Amazing Mango
4 oz (or more) H2O

Directions
Add all ingredients to a blender and process until desired consistency.

IMG_3598

signature