Saturday, July 16, 2011

Twenty Minute Seafood Paella. Minus the Rice.

Love paella, but wanted something a little lighter. I left the rice out and added a few baby potatoes.  The result was a just right, light combination of seafood and veggies.

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 leek, thinly sliced
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 T Italian Parsley, chopped
  • 1 C frozen okra, cut
  • 5 or 6 baby potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 3/4 pound Seafood: bay scallops, peeled & deveined shrimp, mussels

Saute leek slices in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add garlic, tomato, parsley, okra, & potatoes. Salt & pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.  Add seafood of your choice. Simmer until seafood is cooked through. Enjoy with some crusty bread!

Fizzy Raspberry Mint Lemonade.

Hot days call for cool refreshment.  Here's a twist on a time honored favorite! Recipe below makes a single tall glass. Adjust as needed.

  • 1 T fresh mint leaves
  • 12 fresh raspberries
  • 1 T sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • sparkling water
  • ice cubes
Muddle the mint leaves & 6 raspberries using a mortar & pestle or the back of a spoon in a bowl.  Put mint & crushed berries in the bottom of a tall glass. Add sugar & lemon juice. Stir.  Fill glass with ice cubes. Pour sparkling water over ice and mix.  Top with remaining raspberries and enjoy!

Note: I am not a fan of sweet drinks, so I make my lemonade on the tart side. Adjust the sugar to taste.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bread on the Side.

I love bread. In fact, I love bread more than I love leeks, so that's saying something.  For this quick side, I used bakery-purchased ciabatta rolls and a few toppings from my fridge.  Personalize it to your liking and you can have a different taste every time!

  • ciabatta rolls, sliced and then halved
  • fresh mozzarella slices
  • fresh basil
  • tomato slices
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • butter
  • leek, thinly sliced
Set oven to low broil. I made 4 slices of each variety:
Variety 1: Place a slice of fresh mozzarella covering most of the bread slice.
Variety 2: Spread bread slice with butter. Salt & pepper each slice and sprinkle with leek slices.

Place bread slices under broiler until just brown.  Remove and add a leaf of basil and a slice of tomato to the mozzarella bread.  That's all - except for maybe having to make more when it disappears from the table!

Extraordinarily easy and proof that with a few simple ingredients, you can prepare healthy, tasty recipes!

Raspberries & Chicken.

A friend brought me just-picked raspberries this morning and I knew they needed to be part of our dinner.  Enter chicken breasts & leeks, and dinner was ready!

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 pint fresh raspberries
  • 1 leek, cleaned & thinly sliced, white part only
  • olive oil
  • sea salt & fresh ground pepper
  • 1 T sugar
  • 3 T water
Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Arrange chicken breasts in baking pan. Salt & pepper to taste. Drizzle chicken with olive oil.  Sprinkle about half the leek slices over chicken. Bake for 25 minutes.  While chicken bakes, bring water to a boil and add sugar. Boil until dissolved and turn heat to medium.  Add raspberries and crush with back of spoon.  Cook over medium to low heat until you have a raspberry sauce.  Boil slowly to cook off excess liquid if needed.  After chicken has baked for 25 minutes, spoon raspberry sauce over chicken and bake for 10 more minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.  Allow chicken to sit for 5 minutes, then slice and top with remaining sauce and a few leek slices.

This recipe received high praise from all around the table!

Grapefruit & Greens.

My version of a salad I had in a restaurant some time ago.  Adjust quantities of individual ingredients based on your taste preferences. I love grapefruit so tend to put more in.  So tasty that no dressing is needed for this salad!

  • fresh salad greens (butter lettuce, arugula, spinach, baby greens...your choice!)
  • grapefruit sections
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  • red onion, sliced
  • salt & pepper
Today's lunch: plate of torn butter lettuce with sea salt & pepper ground over it, topped with about 1 T of shredded fresh parmesan, red onion slices, and 1/2 a grapefruit, in sections.  Nothing more. Yum!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Nectarine Love.

This recipe was shared by my friend John. He uses peaches - I used a white nectarine. Delicious!  Wondering now about plums...

  • 1 white nectarine, sliced
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • balsamic vinegar
Sprinkle sea salt and pepper over nectarine slices.  Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.  An unexpected but delicious mix of favors!